JJ 06/83: Dave Green – Fingers Remember Mingus

Forty years ago, Chris Sheridan thought Dave Green's Mingus tribute with Bruce Turner and Lol Coxhill an uncommonly fine session. First published in Jazz Journal June 1983

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This is an uncommonly fine LP, so much so that one can afford to carp at the use only of a fragment of Remember when playing time is a little below par. It is, as a whole, rich in melody, vibrant in rhythm and coherent in its structures.

Anthropology zings along with urgent, unexpectedly abrasive Turner contrasting sharply-etched phrases with Coxhill’s serpentine lines. Mood Indigo retains the spirit of the original, its reclusive melan­choly, without becoming with­drawn. Turner’s clarinet has over­tones of Dolphy’s sound on the bigger instrument, while Coxhill’s soprano weaves an interesting fabric with, first, Garrick’s piano, then the clarinet. The tenor is heard only in the theme.

Tears is perhaps the most strik­ing performance, with its vinelike saxophone conversation prior to in­spired statements by both horns. Turner in particular celebrates these blues in a manner that should be a lesson to more closed minds. Of the two items with the most tangible Mingus ambience, Remember, though fascinating, is also tantalizing; Wonderland is the plaintive secondary theme from Diane (from Mingus Dynasty, Col (A) CL-1440/CBS (E) 62261), and it is dominated by its exquisite theme.

This is more than a celebration of Mingus, which it achieves through its admirable eclecticism. It is a celebration, too, of the best post-bop developments, and of the fine, all-round talents of the group’s nominal leader, Dave Green.

Discography
Anthropology; Mood Indigo*; Remember Mingus (19.34) – Tears Inside; Alice’s Wonderland (17.58)
Bruce Turner (cl*/as); Lol Coxhill (ss/ts*); Michael Garrick (p); Dave Green (b); Alan Jackson (d). The Forum Theatre, Hatfield, England, 29/5/79.
(Spotlite SPJ-521)